So the McCombs Diversity Forum is coming up this week. It makes me think back to the first time I visited McCombs. I came in February 2010, soon after I found out I was admitted. It was amazing! I sat in on 2 classes and had breakfast and lunch with current students. I also went to the Think n Drink.
There are several ways to learn more about a school. But the best way is to visit. There is nothing like being on campus while school is in session to see what a class is like, how students interact, and get a sense of the culture. School websites tend to look similar after a while, but visiting helps you distinguish between schools.
Since I did not attend the Diversity Forum (formerly known as Explore McCombs Weekend) as a prospective student, I thought I’d have a couple first years who did share their thoughts on the experience. I hope you find it helpful.
1. Why did you come to the Diversity Forum (formerly Explore McCombs) last year?
Carlos Hill: To see UT for the first time because I didn’t know much about the school or the program.
Brian Williams: I wanted to see what it would be like to be a minority at such a large school. Also, I wanted to see some of the people that I would be working and hanging out with during my next two years, and see if they were cool. (They were)
2. What was your biggest takeaway from the weekend?
Carlos Hill: The large campus with all of its resources. Moreover, the impressive faculty members who spoke to us throughout the days (Doggett, Leeds).
Brian Williams: People at Texas are down to earth, smart, and competitive, but not at the expense of other people, which I did see at other places. Also, I learned about Austin, and about the program, its excellent professors, and if I can be successful within the program. I found that Texas was the place to be.
3. How did the Diversity Forum impact your decision to apply to McCombs?
Carlos Hill: The event was a significant contributor to my decision to apply to UT.
Brian Williams: Directly. After the event, I felt that Texas was a place that I could incubate my skills, and learn from professors who could teach in an engaging and challenging way. I also found that people were eager to help you, and that stood out the most.
4. What advice do you have for prospective students attending this year?
Carlos Hill: Start preparing for graduate school now, especially in accounting. Earn a 700+ on your gmat. Know exactly what curriculum you want to do.
Brian Williams: Have a view that blends the reputation of the school, its alumni base, your personal ability to thrive at the school, and the kind of quality of life you will want out of an MBA program. If you weigh these things, I am confident that you will find McCombs as the best place to start the rest of your professional life.
5. What is your favorite aspect of McCombs?
Carlos Hill: All the (free) networking events in which you get to enjoy food, drinks, professional conversations, etc.
Brian Williams: Collegiality and the alumni base. Alumni are everywhere, and they respond instantly to your request. The Texas culture is very proud, and Alumni take it quite seriously. Also, being able to know all of the people in your class is a huge asset in that the class will be the largest asset I’ll have coming out of the school. Plus Austin is great!